For The Truth

Thursday, May 28, 2009

A Reminder from Jude

We have been working our way through the book of Jude on Wednesday nights lately. Last night we looked at verse five in light of the preceding verses. The message thus far is:

Contend for the Faith, because God is Holy.

Brother Jude is exhorting the fellowship to stand for the truth, refusing to give ground to those who would pervert the truth. The ultimate issue is God is holy and He is serious about His holiness. When we wink at sin, whether it is in our own life or in the lives of others in the church, it is ultimately because we do not believe what God has said.

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Sunday, May 24, 2009

Faith, Love, Hope

4 since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, 5 because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, Colossians 1:4,5

This mornings sermon will be on the Christian Cardinal Virtues:

* Faith - the Foundation of Christianity
* Love - the Hallmark of Discipleship
* Hope - the Anchor of Salvation

Faith is naturally mentioned first, for apart from faith, there would be no Christian existence. But then faith proves its reality by working through love. Finally, faith and love are held fast by hope.

Friday, May 22, 2009

The Bible, Not human Experience, is the Final Authority

Modern society, while condemning sternly many things which the ancients tolerated or even applauded, countenances some things which they utterly rejected. It is very pleasant and natural for us to quietly assume that ours is the advanced and civilized age. But when men reason thus, "A given usage cannot be improper, because Christian opinion and society allow it among us," they reason in a circle. If the propriety of the usage is in question, then there are two hypotheses to be examined, of which one is, "Ours is a pure state, and therefore what we tolerate must be pure;" but the other is, "This tolerated usage being impure, it proves our state corrupt." Now, the decision between the two hypotheses cannot be made by a self-sufficient assumption. Oriental, Greek, and Papal Christianity justify many things which we think excessive corruptions by just such an assumption. It is no more valid in our case than in theirs. Indeed, the very tendency to such self-sufficiency is, according to the Bible, one of the strongest symptoms of corruption. The matter must be settled by a fair appeal to Bible morals.

Robert Lewis Dabney (1820-1898) on politics

Monday, May 18, 2009

The Anemic Spirituality of Emotionalism

I found the following excerpt of a sermon preached in 1892 by Francis J. Grimké on The Thirsty Theologian. The same tendencies still need to be addressed today just as in Grimké’s day.
Francis J. Grimké. . . where emotionalism prevails, there will be a low state of spirituality among the people , and necessarily so. Christian character is not built up that way. Such growth comes from the knowledge and practice of Christian principles. If the body is to grow, it must be fed, and fed on wholesome and nutritious food. The same is true of the soul; and that food is God’s Word , line upon line and precept upon precept. There is no other way to of getting out of the bogs and malarious atmosphere of selfishness and pride and ill will and hatred and the many things which degrade and brutalize into the higher regions of love and purity and obedience and felicity except by the assimilation of Christian principles, except by holy and loving obedience to the word of God. We cannot get up there by on the wings of emotion; we cannot shout ourselves up to a high manhood and womanhood any more than we can shout ourselves into heaven. We must grow up to it. And until this fact is distinctly understood and fully appreciated and allowed to have its weight in our pulpit ministrations, the plane of spirituality upon which the masses of our people move will continue to be low. Shouting is not religion. The ability to make noise is no test of Christian character. The noisiest Christians are not the most saintly; those who shout the most vigorously are not always the most exemplary in character and conduct.

—Francis J. Grimké, cited in Thabiti Anyabwile, The Faithful Preacher: Recapturing the Vision of Three Pioneering African-American Pastors (Crossway, 2007), 130–131.

Sunday, May 17, 2009

We Give Thanks to God—Since we heard of Your Love

Today (well, yesterday now) I delivered a sermon on Colossians 1:3,4 concerning our thanks to God and our love of the saints. It was the second sermon on this text as GNBC is working through the book of Colossians. The first part examined thankfulness in relation to the faith of others, that is the faith of those who trust in Jesus as the Christ. We examined three things about a believer's thanks and love.
  • Our love is to be directed toward the fellowship.
  • Our thanks is to be directed to God.
  • Our source is to be found in God.
Hopefully this will assist the body in continuing to cultivate the love for each other that is growing in our fellowship by helping us recognize the source of love and the object of love as well as the fact that it is to God that all thanks is ultimately due. Praise be to God, the author and profecter of our faith and love. Amen.

Friday, May 15, 2009

Home Again

It is good to be home. The Philippines were beautiful and there is so much that needs to be done there, but there is no place like home.